Skip to main content
Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
 
No. of Recommendations: 4
but i believe that distributed power systems (ala fuel cells, microturbines, and solar) will displace much of the need for very large distribution lines. Power co's will find encouraging distributed power generation less expensive than refrigerating lines to almost absolute zero.


It turns out that my largest personal holding is in DESC, as well as a significant amount in CPST; and yet, I tend to disagree with you here, on a couple of counts.

Keep in mind that most urban areas- particularly in the East, but even in the west - are already under-built in terms of electrical capacity. And as I've pointed out previously, whenever urban utilities have replaced worn-out copper cables, they've had no choice but to replace them with the same size, still-copper, new cables; of almost no additional capacity. Yet electrical use per person, per household, and per business, continues to grow, powered by an electrical infrastructure that has been absolutely unable to keep up, as long as copper or aluminum were the only choices they have.

To say that somehow it is easier to sprinkle distributed systems like microturbines or fuel cells or diesel throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, et al (as examples) is, I think, totally incorrect. When the HTS wires (which don't require absolute zero) prove themselves, they can be pulled through the conduits in place, and automatically the load carrying capability increases many times. It is the power equivalent of replacing copper telecom wires with fiber optics. It is much more straightforward for a utility to do that, rather than think that Capstone, Distributed Energy, et al, will be able to be scattered over most neighborhoods anytime soon. And the main things cheaper than those options- i.e, diesel gen-sets - do not face a Welcome mat much more in urban environments; not to mention that they are dirty, and their use tied to petroleum prices.

Also keep in mind that commercial HTS utility grid products are being manufactured and sold, right now - but they aren't power cables: they are SuperVAR grid shock absorbers. And as we've discussed here before, it is my opinion that the likely demand just to wire those will totally absorb AMSC's second-gen wire capacity for at least the next three years, IMO.

AMSC dies not see the likes of DESC, and CPST, as real competitors. (Or vice versa, for that matter). There is going to continue to be a grid; it has been under-invested in for years; and just now as utilities are planning major upgrades, there is a fiber-optic -type of force multiplier coming available in the likes of 2nd gen HTS wire.

jp
Print the post  

Announcements

What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.